AT A GLANCE
24 February, 2016, 12:00 am
BAGHDAD – Islamic State militants in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul are manipulating the exchange rate between US dollars and Iraqi dinars to squeeze money out of local people as coalition bombers attack the group’s finances. The US-led coalition said in addition to attacking Islamic State’s fighters and leaders it will go after financial infrastructure too. Air strikes have reduced Islamic State’s ability to extract, refine and transport oil, a major source of revenue.
ROME – Italy has agreed to let armed drones take off from its soil to defend US-led forces against Islamic State in North Africa, an Italian defence ministry official said on Monday. The agreement covers only defensive missions and not offensive action, such as the attack on a suspected militant training camp in Sabratha, Libya, that killed dozens last week. Italy will decide whether to authorise drone departures from the Sigonella air base in Sicily case by case, and only if each mission’s aim is to protect personnel on the ground.